Prayer is not simply mouthing a few words spoken in the morning or at the dinner table. Those are of course an important part prayer. But prayer is the opportunity to live our whole lives in God’s grace. Early this morning I read the story of the raising of Lazarus in John chapter 11. This passage gives us a vivid picture of living in God’s grace. While Jesus and His disciples were in Galilee they received word from Martha and Mary that their brother Lazarus was seriously ill. The message simply read, “He whom you love is ill.” Let me point out two simple yet difficult perspectives of living in God’s grace.
- Waiting in His love
John 11:5-6 reads,
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
You can be sure that God loves you no matter what you are going through. To us these verses seem to be a terrible paradox. Jesus loved them, so He waited. We who have read the story know that something far greater came from the Lord’s delay. But we have also felt like it was too late for God to answer our prayers. It is difficult for us to get the principle into our hearts that the world’s deadlines are not necessarily God’s timing. Keep praying even when it seems to be too late. You may well see the glory of God through it.
- Walking in His light
In this passage the disciples of Jesus faced an entirely different dilemma. They were terrified when Jesus announced that He was going back to Judea where the people had tried to stone Him. Jesus answered their concerns with a sort of parable.
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
If you want to understand what God is up to, walk in the light He has already given. Stepping out in faith is a powerful principle of answered prayer. What God calls us to do is often impossible. I remember Moses before the Red Sea. The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.
I love the response of Thomas in this situation.
“Let us also go, that we may die with him.”